News & Commentary

Viewliner II: An End in Sight

First New Viewliner II Sleeper Car Delivery Expected Next Week

Abe Zumwalt According to a presentation given today at the monthly Washington IEEE luncheon, Amtrak expects delivery of the 1st of 25 new CAF Viewliner sleeping cars next week, after having completed delivery of the first Baggage-Dormitory car, 70 baggage cars, and 24 out of 25 Dining cars that replaced equipment that had been rolling since the middle of the 20th century. The 25 sleepers, after testing and full delivery, are intended to augment the existing Viewliner fleet of 50, given its r

The Room(s) Where It Happened

Rail Passengers made 375 person-to-person meetings last year during our Day on the Hill. This year, help us get to 400!

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator “No one really knows how the Parties get to yesssss The pieces that are sacrificed in Ev’ry game of chesssss We just assume that it happens But no one else is in The room where it happens.” I have mentioned in a previous blog that I’m a “union brat” organizer by heart, which is why I have a knack for town halls and various outreach events. There is another side of me that really gets a kick out of what I do for a living: I am the grandson

The Travel Review is Finally Here!

Your Feedback is Important to Improving Amtrak

By Carolyn Cokley, Director, Customer Programs I am pleased to announce that the Rail Passenger Travel Review is now up and live on our website, and can be accessed directly at RailPassengers.org/TravelReview. Rail Passengers Association will collect passenger feedback from all across the National Network, and results will be summarized, analyzed and reported out to Amtrak--as well as other interested rail passenger providers and transportation advocates. We are asking you all to please promot

Why Do Myths Persist?

Asking If A Route Is Profitable Misses The Point

Politicians shouldn't be asking whether a particular Amtrak route makes money. They should be asking who makes money from the route.

All Weather Transportation?

Snow rarely stops trains, but funding problems always do.

By Abe Zumwalt Airport’s Closed and the highway’s packed, But Amtrak’s running, and that’s a fact - “Snowstorm Boogie” , Garrison Keillor & Pat Donohue ...at least, until recently, and it represents a missed opportunity. Trains are the closest thing we have to all-weather ground transportation, yet they are not recognized in United States transportation policy for it, nor are they funded appropriately because of it. This needs to change. Last April, Rail Passengers’ Member

Blame The Lawyers, Part 2…

Freights Fight For Their Right To Be Unreliable

by Jim Mathews | Host railroads this week asked the Supreme Court to take up an appeal of the on-time performance (OTP) case that Rail Passengers won last summer. The arguments are the same, but this Court is not.

Blame The Lawyers, Part 1…

Relying On Rail When Other Modes Fail

by Jim Mathews | Snow shouldn't scare railroaders off the property. But sub-zero temperatures are different.

Go West, Young Man

It's Time for Western MA to Have a Stake in the System

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator In 2017, MA State Senator Eric Lesser brought a number of constituents to Boston from Springfield in order to promote bills that were being discussed at the time for a proposed “high speed” route between Boston, Worcester, and Springfield - the three largest cities in the Commonwealth. I, in my role then as Rail Passengers’ Council Member, joined the chorus of voices advocating for this route. A section from my testimony: “The RPA recentl

Metro North Commuter Service Coming To Amtrak’s Hell Gate Line

“It’s déjà vu all over again”

By Bruce Becker - Vice-President of Operations The recent announcement that New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Amtrak have come to an agreement which will eventually lead to some Metro North New Haven Line trains being routed on Amtrak’s Hell Gate Line to Penn Station is good news for the rapidly growing, but under-served by rail transit, East Bronx. The future commuter trains will serve new four stations along the Hell Gate Line in the East Bronx at Hunts Point, Parkches

When in DC

So, you've gotten off of your train at Union Station. Now what?

Abe Zumwalt If you’re not planning on coming to our meeting in April, you should. You, yourself, can positively impact passenger rail service in the United States. Plus, you get the added bonus of staying in our Nation’s Capitol, as we've managed to secure a good rate at the Westin right in Downtown DC. However, on that last point, I have a recommendation. If you go see the monuments, ever, in this new Rome of ours, I have a piece of advice. Don’t walk. Don’t take a cab. No, when you g